Portraiture was a well-established aspect of Laubser’s practice, along with the many land- and seascapes she painted throughout her life. Though undated, this work exhibits the mastery of colour techniques and brushwork that characterised her portraits during the 1920s and 1930s, but is perhaps a more mature example.
The subtle blues and greens in particular, in the backdrop and the man’s shirt, make the beautifully realised complexity of his skin tones and the light on his face stand out. Much more realist in its execution than the more expressionist portraits painted on the Oortmanspost farm in the 1920s, this portrait has a gravitas and melancholy not always present in Laubser’s other works.
Artwork courtesy of Norval Foundation.
Portrait of a man
Oil on board
41 x 49.5 cm